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Save $200 on an iPhone X from T-Mobile

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Stephen Beacham

Before I delve into today’s deal, a quick aside. Late yesterday I spotted this headline: “These £40 knockoffs look just like Apple’s £159 AirPods, and they sound almost as good.” Of course I was intrigued, so I checked it out. Guess what?

That story, which appeared on what I consider a pretty well-respected site, was straight-up linkbait. Not only did the author not test the product, she didn’t mention the 1-star review average from Amazon buyers. So those knockoffs “sound almost as good” according to whom?

All this is simply to say, I will never do that.

Whenever possible, I’ll test a product first so I can report on the pros and cons. When that’s not possible, I’ll try to point you to other reviews. And I’ll always draw on 30 years of tech-industry experience to provide context, caveats and so on.

My goal is, and has always been, to steer you to great deals while helping you make an informed purchase decision. Today, for example, there’s a deal to be had on an iPhone X — but with lots of catches. Take a look.

X marks the drop?

T-Mo is getting aggressive with iPhone deals.

But you gotta jump through a fair number of hoops.

T-Mobile

Starting tomorrow, Feb.

23, T-Mobile is offering a £200 rebate (in the form of a prepaid debit card) when you buy an iPhone X, trade in an eligible phone, finance the X for 24 months and get service while you’re at it. Never mind how weird it is that T-Mo announced this deal a day ahead (who in their right mind will buy an iPhone X from them today?). It’s a reflection of reportedly poor iPhone X sales and, I think, a sign that Apple will drop the iPhone X’s price in the coming months.

The deal itself is pretty standard fare for anyone who doesn’t mind getting into bed with a carrier for two years. Me, I continue to prefer buying a phone outright and then shopping for the cheapest service I can find — but T-Mo does have its perks. There’s also a BOGO deal: Buy any iPhone (including a 7 or 7 Plus, weirdly!) and you’ll get an iPhone 8 for free.

Again, there are trade-in and service requirements. But for anyone in the market for one or two iPhones, these are deals worth considering. My £.02: The iPhone X is not worth £1,000. (No phone is, and that includes whatever Samsung bakes into the S9 that’s coming this weekend.) Is it worth £800?

More in the ballpark, at least. I like the screen size, the bezel-free design and the cameras; I don’t like Face ID or the notch. Frankly, I want Apple to quit monkeying with hardware and fix the many, many terrible things about iOS.

Anyway, now you have the iPhone-deal news. Let’s hear what you think of it.

A tiny terabyte for just £41.

Toshiba

Bonus deal: Need a big hunk of portable storage? Most 256GB flash drives will run you at least £50.

How about four times the storage for £10 less? For a limited time, and while supplies last, Amazon is selling the Toshiba Canvio Connect II 1TB portable hard drive for £40.59, shipped free with Prime. It’s a compact, SB© USB 3.0 drive that’s both Windows- and Mac-compatible.

It comes with backup software and a 2-year warranty.

Assuming you don’t need something that’s actually flash drive-size, this offers incredible mobile-storage bang for the buck.

Oh, and it has a 4.3-star review average from over 2,500 buyers. (A brand like Toshiba, you probably don’t have to worry about fake reviews.)

Smoove and its hybrid ebikes may be taking over Paris soon

Bike-sharing has long been a popular mode of transportation in Europe, and now, one company is making it easier still to move from Point A to Point B in an eco-friendly manner. The French company Smoove has launched a new project that will add 24,000 smart ebikes to the company’s global fleet. Smoove bikes have already been deployed across the world, with cities including Vancouver, Canada; Marrakesh, Morocco; Helsinki, Finland, and Moscow boasting the company’s communal bike system.

And now, the greater region of Paris will receive an additional 24,000 bikes as well as 1,400 new stations. All of this is expected to take place within the first quarter of 2018. Smoove’s strategy is an interesting one, as it doesn’t necessarily involve deploying tens of thousands of brand-new bikes.

Rather, as Clean Technica reports, the idea is to introduce a new smart ebike hybrid by way of the company’s Smoove Box. This technology claims to convert existing bikes into smart and electrified versions by installing a battery in the frame and tacking a motor onto the front wheel. And as ever, these bikes will be capable of being locked at the docking station where they recharge.

In order to take a ride on a Smoove bike, you’ll either need to have a card (like the ones currently used in many mass transportation networks), or an NFC-enabled smartphone, or an access code. Once you’ve paid for and unlocked your bike, the road is yours. Smoove is also introducing a “parking overflow” feature, which will allow users to park their bikes even if docking stations are fully occupied.

The ebikes will be secured using a Neiman-type steering lock, as well as an internal cable lock. It is so far unclear exactly what the pricing structure of the new ebikes will be, but with plans for deployment quickly approaching, it seems that we’ll find out soon. Thus far, Smoove has made moves in 13 countries and 26 cities, has 8,500 self-service bike spots in play, and a total of 460 ebike stations.

The hope is that there will soon be Smoove solutions the world over, leading to a far more eco-friendly future.

Editors’ Recommendations

Overwatch League makes the grade

Now Playing: Watch this: Overwatch League progress report: So far, so good

4:15

It’s been less than two years since Blizzard Entertainment launched its mega-popular team shooter Overwatch. In that time, the game has amassed over 30 million players, gave birth to countless memes and parodies, and also launched its own professional esports league. It’s only been a few weeks since Overwatch League (OWL) kicked off its inaugural season, but I figured it would be fun to track the League’s progress via progress reports covering various benchmarks for success.

For this first report card, I chose to grade quality, clarity, consistency, engagement and accessibility; even as a die-hard Overwatch fan, there’s definitely room for improvement if the League wants to bring in casual gamers.

We’ll swing back around to our grades later in the season to see if OWL keeps evolving to meet the needs of its viewers (it’s already adapted once with some much-needed schedule changes), but for now, the League seems like it’s in a pretty good place.

If you’ve checked out Overwatch League and have suggestions for its success (or just want to brag about your sick Pharah skills), drop ’em down in the comments.

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